Tag Archives: ulcer

The Potato Eaters: brushstrokes of sickness and sustenance

Jeanne Dsouza Manipal, India   Figure 1. Portrait of The Potato Eaters showing 5 members of a family around a table eating potatoes and sipping coffee, four of whom have skin eruptions and limb changes suggestive of leprosy. One wants to be an honest man, one is so, one works as hard as a slave but […]

W.W. Keen: physician to the presidents

Kevin R. Loughlin Boston, Massachusetts, United States   Figure 1. The cheek retractor used in Cleveland’s operation. From The surgical operations on President Cleveland in 1893 by W. W. Keen. 1917. Via the Internet Archive. William Williams Keen served in the American Civil War and was present at the first and second Battle of Bull […]

The Girl with a Pearl Earring—a vanitas?

James Lindesay Leicester, United Kingdom   Girl with a Pearl Earring. Johannes Vermeer. circa 1665. Mauritshuis. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. It is a truism that you only have one opportunity to see a picture for the first time. However, in our image-saturated age, by the time you get to see a famous painting in […]

Smetana, his music, his illness

Bedřich (Frederic) Smetana was one of the major figures of nineteenth century European music. Regarded as the founder of the Czech national school of music, he composed The Bartered Bride opera and the symphonic poem “Má Vlast” (My Homeland) with its beloved Vlatava (The Moldau) melody. Like Ludwig van Beethoven, he composed exceptional music even […]